New York prosecutors have postponed the next hearing in the alleged sexual assault by French money man Dominique Strauss-Kahn while prosecutors determine whether the case is strong enough to prosecute despite alleged lies and altered statements by his accuser.
The postponement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance comes a day after Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim Nafissatou Diallo spoke about her case on ABC News and in Newsweek, multiple persons involved in the case tell ABC News.
The district attorney had not decided by today whether or not to go forward in the case, and it was unclear what effect if any the decision by Diallo to go public with her version of the alleged sexual assault may have on the prosecution's determination.
The next hearing for Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the Intonational Monetary Fund who was expected to run for the presidency of France, had been scheduled for Aug. 1. It has now been pushed back to Aug. 23, according to the prosecutor's office
"The investigation into this pending criminal case is continuing. We will have no further comment," said Erin Duggan, director of communications for Vance.
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While the district attorney remained circumspect in his statement, defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn were forceful in calling for a dismissal, using the postponement as the latest vehicle for public assertions of their client's innocence.
"We have consented to a postponement of the status hearing before Judge [Michael] Obus from Aug. 1 to Aug. 23. We understand the district attorney is continuing to investigate," attorneys Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor said in a statement. "We hope that by Aug. 23 he will have reached the decision to dismiss."
Diallo's attorneys had claimed that before she went public on ABC and Newsweek, the Manhattan DA was not planning to go forward with the case, but multiple sources involved in the case told ABC News that prosecutors continue to weigh the wisdom of going forward.
The alleged victim of the sexual assault was badly damaged as a complaining witness in the eyes of prosecutors following the discovery that she had lied about some things in her background had had altered statements to investigators.
Diallo has subsequently attributed differences in her statements to prosecutors as a "misunderstanding."
But other evidence that led the grand jury to indict Strauss-Kahn was under examination in an effort to determine whether there was still enough to bring a case, sources said.
According to multiple sources involved in the case, Vance felt strongly that if the evidence that led to a grand jury indictment remained strong enough to stand up at trial with a damaged witness his office would prosecute. To not do so, sources close to Vance said, would in his eyes set back the cause of victim's rights.
What is clear is that Vance is in the middle of a public fire storm and he will face criticism which ever route he chooses.